Tag Archives: bullies

Getting Graphic

29 Dec

This trio has been sitting on my shelf for a bit:

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Lowriders in Space,  written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Raul the Third, is a graphic novel with a strong Latino storyline.

From the Publisher:Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love working with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team’s favorite cars of all are lowriders—cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, bajito y suavecito. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop! ¡Ay chihuahua! What will it take to transform a junker into the best car in the universe? Striking, unparalleled art from debut illustrator Raul the Third recalls ballpoint-pen-and-Sharpie desk-drawn doodles, while the story is sketched with Spanish, inked with science facts, and colored with true friendship. With a glossary at the back to provide definitions for Spanish and science terms, this delightful book will educate and entertain in equal measure.

Tomboy,  by Liz Prince, is the author’s memoir of growing up a tomboy. I can think of a few girls I know who would enjoy reading this because they can finally see themselves in a book.

Finally, To This Day,  is not really a graphic novel It is the published for of Shane Koyczan’s anti-bullying poem, illustrated by 30 artists. If you haven’t seen his video, here it is:

If you enjoy graphics, these are really great.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

19 Sep

Ahoy there! Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. And what better day than to talk about a book with a nautical theme and a search for Captain Kidd’s treasure!


Fish Finelli: Seagullls Don;t Eat Pickles  by E. S. Farber is illustrated by Jason Beene. This is a fun adventure mystery. While the strong plot concerns Fish and his friends hunting for lost pirate treasure, the book’s greatest strength is its character development; not just Fish, but his friends and family and other minor characters as well. It has a gentle sense of humor that keeps things light and sporadic sidebars with factoids that don’t seem either intrusive or patronizing.

This would make a great elementary read aloud. But be warned, some of the humor is very much the way 3rd & 4th grade boys talk. Heres an example: When Roger finds out that librarian Mr. E. Mann may have the treasure map, he cleverly observes, “Whoa! The librarian’s got the booty!” Argh!

T. rex for two

1 Aug

Running my Read Aloud Book Club for teachers last year has me on the lookout for picture books that pair up nicely with chapter books. Sometimes it’s  no brainer. Sometimes you have to stretch your brain  little. This pair is a no brainer.

Today we have a picture book and a graphic novel: Tea Rex  by Molly Idle and Tommysaurus Rex  by Doug TenNapel.

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Tea Rex is how to book for people who would like to invite a T. rex to tea. Beginning with a formal invitation to tea, the text gives straightforward directions on how one might host a tea party. The illustrations point out the potential pitfalls if one’s guest were T.rex. The play  between the words and pictures makes this  fun read.

Tommysaurus Rex tells the story of a Ely’s adventures on his grandfather’s farm, where he encounters a T. rex who becomes his pet, Tommy, named for the dog he recently lost. Or, is it a reincarnation of his dog? Ely works with Tommy so he is not a nuisance to the town. Unfortunately, Randy, the town bully, threatens to ruin everything when he uses fire to frighten the T. Rex which causes him to set off on a destructive streak. The beautiful ending is all about forgiveness and redemption.

Both books offer the possibility of some fun writing assignments around T. rex, or any other dinosaur whose name can be manipulated.

When Girls Bully

27 Jul

As I started reading Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, I wracked by brain for another book about girl bullies but couldn’t come up with one. I could think of lots of non-fiction titles, but not a fiction title. I’m sure there are some out there. There are probably even good ones. But, if  the topic sounds even remotely interesting, you should read this one.


When Piddy & her Mom move, Piddy has to attend a new high school. She has always been a good student and want to become an elephant researcher when she grows up. One day, someone tells Piddy that Yaqui Delgado wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is or what reason she might have to dislike her enough to want to beat her up. At first she ignores the threat, and she certainly doesn’t want to be a narc, but thing begin to spin out of control.

What  I liked about the story is how real it felt. Piddy is pretty ordinary and I can believe that this situation might really have happened. Meg Medina loosely based the story on something that happened to her. Piddy is likable and you really feel for her as she tries to keep her world from falling apart.  So many times, a problem like this can’t be solved in a neat way and I appreciate the  honest and realistic ending.

Nerds and Bullies

9 May

Let me start by saying I embrace my nerdiness and pretty much always have. I have a twin & she & I were born opposites. As we grew, it was clear that she was the outgoing sporty twin;  I was the painfully shy,  bookish twin. So shy was I that I almost didn’t get to start kindergarten with my sister. They thought I might meed another year to mature socially.  Fortunately, I loved school & did very well.  In fact, school helped me overcome my shyness and gave me a confidence I lacked. This explains my decision in high school to join the Reach for the top team.


I bring all this up because of The reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Neilsen.


Henry’s brother was bullied, snapped and committed a terrible crime. Henry begins high school at a school where no one knows who he is and reluctantly joins their Reach for the Top team. This is an awesome book you should read.

So, I  got to thinking about other books I love that deal with nerds and bullies.  here are a few:

1. Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King  (Bullies)


2. The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg (Nerds)


3. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown (Bullies)


4. Howay for Wodney Wat  by Helen Lester (Bullies & Nerds)


5. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (Bullies)


6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Nerds)


7. The Cardturner  by Louis Sachar (Nerds)


8. The Fingers of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer


Which titles would you add?

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